Rating: 4 out of 5.

We are back in Antwerp! It was December 2008, I had just moved from the States a few months earlier, and can still remember how giddy I felt on what was my very first trip within Europe. It was a sunny day and teeth-chatteringly cold – I clearly didn’t know how to dress properly for European winters yet – but I didn’t mind it at all since it was my first time in Belgium. It was all fresh and new. It seems I haven’t learned much though since we’re back under the same conditions – cold, cold, cold – and this time, the icing on the cake was the thick, gray clouds that followed us from Amsterdam. At least this time around, I learned to dress for it better.

After a decent, hearty breakfast at Gustav…


And under some sorrow-inducing weather, we walked over to see city hall, those guild houses, and that famous statue in the old center again…


It was a lot like I remembered — gotta ‘hand it’ to Antwerp, she certainly knows her town squares. I also, incidentally, found out the reason for the statue.
Antwerp apparently comes from the Dutch word for hand-thrower. First time I saw it I couldn’t figure out what exactly that statue was – for the longest time I thought it was a man holding a fish – but turns out it was a man in the act of throwing a giant, severed hand. Pretty macabre stuff, but I suppose it can’t all be cute and cuddly as that little pisser boy in Brussels.

We did finally see on the way back home the next day some beautiful weather – all five minutes of it. Oh well, it’s certainly better than nothing. ツ


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